IN November 15’s Long Letter, John Milligan asked a question of the plan to publish one million pro-independence newspapers. Specifically he wondered, given talk of the importance of the Yes movement being all-inclusive and non-partisan, why Yes groups were not informed of this campaign in advance so they could also get involved.

This is a question I suspect others have too, so I would like to address it, in my capacity as The National’s engagement editor – which often involves dealing with projects we run to engage readers beyond the paper itself.

The simple answer to John’s question is: logistics.

This campaign came to be as a result of a collaboration between The National, Believe in Scotland and the SNP.

READ MORE: Unionists fume at The National's one million indy newspaper campaign

SNP branches were asked how many papers they would like to receive, as they know best their own resources and reach. Printing and distributing one million newspapers across the country with vastly varying amounts per branch is a huge logistical exercise. Everything right up to the forklift drivers hired to move the extra papers on to the vans must be considered.

Announcing the move to the wider Yes movement was something discussed and considered, but there were two particular challenges.

Firstly, it quickly became apparent that the one million figure was going to be hit by the SNP branches alone. We didn’t want to double up on copies – SNP branches can co-ordinate with each other, but a Yes group will often cover an area that has an SNP branch. We didn’t want the eight-pager going through the same person’s letterbox twice. It would be inefficient and potentially annoy them!

Working with the SNP and Believe in Scotland, the opportunity was there to hit one million homes with an eight-page pro-independence newspaper. We thought that was a great chance to boost the Yes case.

READ MORE: Scottish independence project to see ONE MILLION pro-Yes papers printed

That said, if we want to hold true to the quotes John points to, it’s important we also provide resources for the wider Yes movement.

The eight-page paper going out to homes will also be printed within a daily copy of The National prior to St Andrew’s Day, and you can pass on your copy or buy an extra copy to give to someone who might be an undecided voter. The content is very much focused on making the case for Yes, not making a pitch to vote for the SNP.

As mentioned, we earlier supported a Day of Action with Believe in Scotland, with a 24-page supplement that Yes groups were able to distribute. We continue to work with Believe in Scotland on such cross-party initiatives.

READ MORE: Presses get going and extra staff brought in for one million pro-indy papers

And then we also have our own projects on the side, such as our Yessay contest earlier this year that resulted in some fantastic contributions. Last year, we had billboards up across Scotland with key messages such as reminding anyone passing by, in huge letters, that Boris Johnson as editor of The Spectator had published a poem including the phrase: “The Scotch – what a verminous race!”

This latest collaboration is just one initiative as part of our wider bid to help make the case for independence. The National is Scotland’s pro-independence newspaper – and to reflect our readers, we want to help the campaigning cause too.

I would urge readers with any feedback on the paper, its direction, or with ideas, to get in touch with me via the email below – correspondence with readers has already resulted in fresh plans about how we turn our Yessays into a campaigning resource.

This was an opportunity too good to pass up – but we want to seize on plenty of other opportunities too.

We’re here to work with readers and use our position on news-stands to amplify their voice – so never hesitate to get in touch.

Stewart Ward